Cheney Out As Canton Police Chief
Canton village police chief Basil Cheney is out, after he couldn't reach a deal with the village board over salary and benefits.
Cheney decided to return to his lower-ranking job as sergeant, where he says he can make more money.
During a meeting Wednesday afternoon, the village board replaced Cheney with retired state police sergeant Victor Rycroft. Rycroft received a temporary, three-month appointment.
Cheney said earlier this month that he might step down, because his $75,000 salary as chief was less than what he made as sergeant.
7 News reporter John Friot reports Cheney made just over $100,000 in 2011, when his regular pay, overtime, and a health plan fully paid for by the village are included.
As police chief, Cheney is not eligible for overtime and had to contribute to his health insurance.
"There was people under him, with overtime, that made more money. But he just felt he should go back and he needed to financially, he told us," said Canton Mayor David Curry.
Village officials say the annual salary of $75,000 is a fitting price for the position.
"He just told us he needed a little more money to stay on as chief, and the village, at this time, decided that $75,000 was more than fair for the chief of the Canton Police Department," Curry said.
This will be the village's third search for a police chief since April.
"We're hoping right now that people would be interested in it, to apply for the Canton police chief," Curry said.
Rycroft, a state police officer for more than 20 years and a village police officer in the early 60s, has agreed to take over temporarily as chief.
"I think we're, right now, in pretty good hands, I feel," Curry said.
"Mr. Rycroft will very much take care of everything the village will ask him to do."
Cheney finishes as police chief June 28, and reclaims his old job as village sergeant starting in July.
Rycroft takes office on June 29. He says he hopes to speak with Cheney before then in order to secure a smooth transition.
Cheney replaced long time police chief Alan Mulkin.
Sunday, May 19, 2013, Watertown, NY
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